The Nevado del Ruiz is the largest of the 5 ice-capped volcanoes in the Andes mountain range which make up Los Nevados de Colombia. As it is a stratovolcano, it has a conical shape consisting of many layers of volcanic ash and hardened lava.
You’ll start your day early with a 4:30 am pickup from your Salento accommodation for the first stage of this mammoth journey to the magnificent Nevado del Ruiz.
Your first stop will be around 8 am for some traditional Colombian breakfast of hot Aguapanela or a Hot Chocolate with Cheese. Following this, you’ll start your ascent passing many eco-systems and beautiful transitional landscapes such as primary and secondary forests, semi-paramo, paramo, and super-paramo. Although there may not appear to be enough natural habitat and food for animals to survive at such great heights and with such scarcity of vegetation. The Nevado del Ruiz is home to 27 endemic bird species, along with threatened animals such as the Mountain Tapir and Spectacled bear.
In the past visitors were able to make the ascent to the highest point of its snowfields in a vehicle. But since volcanic activity started in 2010 the Nevado del Ruíz volcano has been on alert level Yellow (III). The consequence of this is that visitors can only enter as far as the Valle de las Tumbas sector at 4,400 MASL. This sector does not have access to snow or to the edge of the glacier but does provide an amazing panoramic view of the interglacial valley and on clear days a sensational view of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano.
During your ascent, you’ll be making a number of photo stops including at the Laguna Negra for a hot cup of Coca Tea to warm you up and help with the adjustment to the altitude. Once you have reached the Valle de las Tumbas, you’ll enjoy a wonderful crisp stroll around this surreal location before heading back down the mountainside with a new perspective on nature and life.
1. Hotel pickup 4:30am
2. Breakfast 8am
3. Laguna Negra 10am
4. Valle de Las Tumbas 11:30am
5. Start journey back 12:30pm
6. Lunch 2pm
7. Hotel drop-off 6:30pm
8. Optional extra: Termales de Ruiz Thermal Pools. This will add an additional 2 hours to your tour time.